ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) announced its support of National Groundwater Awareness Week, according to a press release.

National Groundwater Awareness Week, established by the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) 17 years ago, started this past Sunday, March 8, and will last through March 14, stated the release.

Around 44 percent of the U.S. population depends on groundwater, reported the release, which reiterates the importance of “continued stewardship of America’s fresh water resources.”

“The protection and appreciation of the role groundwater plays in our lives is very important, and each of us can do something to be a good groundwater steward,” said IBWA Vice President of Communications Chris Hogan. “The bottled water industry has always recognized the importance of protecting the quantity and quality of the world’s water. Bottled water companies that produce groundwater products (e.g., spring water, artisan water) are entirely dependent upon a safe, fresh supply of constantly recharged and replenished water for their livelihood.”

Read the entire release here.